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Spring Break Externships: Apply Now!

Great big world with so many places to start... start here

Applications are now open for Spring Break Externships for Humanities Majors. Yes, you should apply. 

See details about the available opportunities here: https://go.illinois.edu/SpringBreak2020ExternshipOpportunities

To apply, click here: https://go.illinois.edu/SpringBreakExternships

What is it?

An externship is a short and low-stakes opportunity to get to know a particular kind of workplace first hand. Externships last anywhere from half a day to three days, depending on the employer. Most involve a tour of the organization and opportunities to talk to the various people who work there and learn about what they do. Some involve a hands-on project, getting your resume reviewed, or more formal Q&A.

Why?

The purpose of externships is to help students get a more nuanced and well-informed understanding of the kinds of workplaces and jobs available to them. Some employers view the externship as a way to meet potential job or internship applicants, but that is not always the case, and there is no expectation that externs are necessarily looking for a job at the organization there are matched with. If you really have no idea what you want to do after you graduate, an externship can be a way to start exploring your options (if only potentially to rule some things out).

To What Purpose?

The spring break opportunities skew sharply towards the direction of publishing and marketing/advertising (with one really interesting nonprofit organization in the mix). None of these may be your dream job. You should apply anyway. You’ll learn a lot about the various moving parts that go into an organization and the range of ways that your skills could give you a future. You’ll meet interesting people and learn first-hand about how people get from college graduation to a job they enjoy. You’ll probably learn about some potential jobs that would not have otherwise occurred to you. And that terrifying word — networking? You’ll have done some of that and you’ll have found that it wasn’t as horrible as you expected. And then you go on with the rest of your spring break.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Did I mention that you should apply? You really should. For the winter break pilot version of this program, we had more openings available than students who applied. Employers really enjoy having students in the office for these kinds of occasions, and we have a number of “repeat customers” from the Winter Break iteration because they found it to be such a positive experience for their teams.

What Do Students Say?

Since Merkle is an Advertising Agency, I expected the majority of the individuals I met to have a background in the areas of Journalism/Media/Advertising but I was pleasantly surprised that I met plenty of employees with unique interests, skills, and backgrounds across all disciplines. My expectations were exceeded. Joe was also a very helpful resource. His individual journey to Merkle was not set and paved and that made this experience even more special. I was able to truly experience for myself that employers hire based on skills, not major. I even asked the HR Recruiter what Merkle looks for when hiring new talent and she mentioned plenty of skills that I either already have or am fine-tuning in my courses.” (Yosra Abdulwahid, freshman, Spanish)

Where?

Here are the employers taking part over this spring break (those with an asterisk have a U of Illinois humanities alumna/us involved!): 

  • *Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (a three-day experience with a nonprofit organization that helps the un- and under-employed train for new jobs): Tuesday, March 17 through Thursday, March 19 (all three days) 
  • *Prime Publishing (a craft and cooking publisher in Northbrook, IL): Thursday, March 19
  • *The Black Sheep (a digital marketing company that focuses on college students): Any day between Monday, March 16 and Friday, March 20
  • Merkle (an advertising agency in Chicago’s Loop): Wednesday, March 18
  • The University of Illinois Press (an academic publisher, right here on campus): Thursday, March 19
  • Human Kinetics (a fitness and health publisher in Champaign): Wednesday, March 18 
  • *50,000ft (a rapidly growing brand consultancy and creative agency in Chicago): Any day between Monday, March 16 and Friday, March 20

How?

See details about the available opportunities here: https://go.illinois.edu/SpringBreak2020ExternshipOpportunities

To apply, click here: https://go.illinois.edu/SpringBreakExternships